Q: You’ve joked about it before, but are you ready to give him another six-year contract yet? Danny Ainge: [Laughs] Yeah. Q: You have to start thinking about that. Sure, we’re only in Year 3, but you can’t risk letting a good coach get away. Danny Ainge: No, listen, he’s a keeper. He’s great. He’s great to work with. Like I said, I think he’s going to be — if he stays in this game long enough — he’s going to be one of the great coaches.
May 30, 2017 | 8:51 am EDT Update
First, everything about what Dion Waiters might (or might not) realize on the free-agent market at this point is speculation. And the NBA types I have spoken to believe that some of the speculation is at a far higher rate than Dion might realize, considering the limited market last summer and the small sample size this past season due to injury. But often none of that matters, since it only takes one suitor to set the market, with plenty of cap space available around the league. Ultimately, it could come down to Dion’s preference of cash or contention.
“His first couple of years, he might try some things that weren’t really his game,” said Jai Lucas, who played with Thompson at Texas and remains close with him. The Cavs didn’t mind Thompson’s exploration. They stunk anyway, and he stayed mostly within himself. The only statistical goals he ever mentioned were averaging a double-double, or snagging five rebounds per quarter, coaches and teammates said.
Defend LeBron James and all that shooting for 20 seconds, and here comes Thompson to extend the possession, or end it with a shot that might make the bottom of the last page in a scouting report. He is perhaps the most demoralizing player in the league, and there may be no more demoralizing NBA moment than Thompson hitting a floater at the end of the shot clock. “I get it,” Thompson said, laughing. “I’m last on the checklist. That’s fine with me. I love seeing all the energy and hope come out of the other team.” “Everything he does,” said Raptors coach Dwane Casey, “is so deflating.”
May 30, 2017 | 5:58 am EDT Update
The 7-footer’s rugged professional path has landed him at seemingly the perfect stop: in the Bay Area with the NBA’s best. Just don’t call him a journeyman. “I’ve never considered myself a journeyman in the first place,” McGee said after a practice this weekend. “Whatever y’all want to call me y’all can call me. The number of teams I’ve been on was in like one year. I’ve been with three teams in two years.”
The Nets’ last-place campaign doesn’t seem to have dimmed Brook Lopez’s spirits. Lopez — whose name came up at the trade deadline, and surely will again this offseason — is convinced his team laid a positive foundation in coach Kenny Atkinson’s first year, and he’s all in for the second. “I think there’s a lot of positivity. Our record wasn’t spectacular, but we all felt we grew a lot, we really improved, and our team never showed any quit. Those are important things to have,’’ Lopez said Monday according to Inquirer.net. “We believe we’re building that foundation and it’s in place and we can do something down the line if we continue to play for one another.